Q. I`ve noticed a lot of atheists like to use the tactic of ridicule in order to try to get a feeling of `intellectual superiority` over a Christian opponent. For instance, they`ll commonly refer to the Bible as `a book of fairy tales` or `a book of Bronze Age myths` and use ridiculing quotes they find online such as this one, `Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.` One atheist on YouTube.com attempts to explain why the above quote is `actually a good definition` (note: there is some foul language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu1n4_fil7s Atheists will often use these tactics, but I can never think of a good response when they use them. How should one respond to these remarks when an atheist or anti-Christian makes them? Also, how would one respond to the arguments the atheist in the link to video above makes regarding the `Cosmic Jewish Zombie` quote?
A. First and foremost, I would say that it is our mission as Christians partly to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15) We are called to be a defender of our faith, but to do so with respect for the other person. This is important on several levels. First, we are the representation of God here on earth. As such, it is best if we emulate His behavior. Just as He has been gracious and merciful to us, we should be gracious and merciful to those who have not yet accepted Christ. After all, part of what draws us to God is His grace and mercy in the face of our poor disposition and our evil. Also, we need to realize that it not so much that these people are the enemy, but the one behind them who puffs up their pride to the point where they attack the scripture in a mean and demeaning way. Therefore, our argument is not with them, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6-12).” So you see, although these men are willingly being used by Satan to attack the Gospel, it is important to remember that they are no more our enemy than we were once enemies of Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I have not watched the YouTube video and will not simply because I will not provide the person with one more view to bolster his popularity, what I would say is this: This kind of response is simply the response of an irresponsible, immature person who has done absolutely NO research into Christianity whatsoever and is responding in a sensationalistic manner, creating a mound of rubbish disguised as a dismantling of the Gospel. First and foremost, why use the zombie concept? Are you implying that God is mindless? That is ridiculous in light of His word in Isaiah 1:18, “Come and let us reason together.” Are those the words of a zombie? To say that God “was his own father” is a gross and ridiculous misunderstanding of the message of the Gospel stretched to abominable proportions. This is a poor farce of the concept of the Trinity and a misguided view of the very concept of God. While no one can aptly codify the Trinity, it is important to remember that we believe in One God revealed in three distinct persons. Jesus is not the Son of God in terms of biological reproduction, but rather in position within the Trinity. The communion bit is simply taking a symbolic ritual and dragging it out to a ridiculous end. When we celebrate communion, we are in fact remembering the Passover festival, when the Israelites celebrated God’s releasing of them from the bondage of the Egyptians. In the same way, we have been freed from our former master. Jesus described Himself in John both as the “Bread of Life” and the “True Vine.” It is in this context that we celebrate communion, in that just as we partake of the bread and wine, we have, in essence, “partaken” of the “Bread of Life” and the “True Vine.” There is also no “evil force” removed from our soul because of some “rib-woman.” We simply ARE evil due to our human nature. There is absolutely no difference from us to Adam and Eve. In accepting Christ as our Savior, we are simply admitting that we are fallen, just like ALL humanity, and we are not sinless and spotless like God. We are accepting Jesus’ atoning death on behalf of us so that our sinfulness and shortcomings are covered.
While these vitriol-packed attacks against Christianity can be disheartening, we can rest assured knowing that our faith is indeed a historic faith, backed by archaeology and real evidence. While we do have to make a leap of faith (God didn’t leave a rock behind saying “God was here”), it is a very short, imminently reasonable leap that can be made by looking at the evidence before us.